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Surprising Applications of Data Science


Data science. It’s a term you’ve heard used before over and over again in recent years, and even more so on this site. That’s because it’s an incredibly important sector in today’s society. Almost every major business uses data science in some way, shape or form. Data scientists study and analyze large sets of data and then offer businesses solutions to problems with this information. These businesses use data science for a variety of reasons, from the traditional to the unexpected. With that being said, I wanted to highlight just a few of the most surprising applications of data science.


Search Engines

Today’s search engines are powerhouses of information; they can provide millions of results in seconds. That was unthinkable a mere 20 years ago. Were it not for data science, we would not have the Googles, Bings or Yahoos of today. Every time you search for a song you like, a television show you’ve been binging, or the best place to get a slice of pizza, data science is playing a major role in providing you with the best possible answers. Using complicated algorithms, search engines take all of the relevant data around your query, like location, time, and previous search history, to offer you the best possible search results.


Recommendations

Have you ever watched a music video on YouTube and seen a recommended video of a similar song that is exactly what you were looking for? Or have you ever binge-watched your favorite Netflix series, only to get recommended another show that you absolutely love? That’s data science. And it is, quite possibly, one of the most widely used features. Almost every major technology company with a website utilizes some sort of recommendation algorithm. From Amazon’s recommended items to Facebook’s “People You May Know” section, these algorithms all take large amounts of data to offer relevant search results.


Video Games

Have you ever played a video game that was very easy at the beginning, but as you progressed, you realize that it has gradually become more difficult? That’s data science. Video game developers create complex algorithms and implement them in the games so that the video game can adapt to a player’s style of gaming. These games take in multiple factors and inputs from the player and determine how difficult the game should be —in real time. It’s an incredibly impressive feat, that would never have been achieved without the help of data science.